Rapp and Centrepoint tie-up seeks creative talent among homeless young people

Initiative will support opportunities in advertising and beyond.

Chief creative officer Al Mackie, participants Muniira and Adam, and Sid Gordon
Chief creative officer Al Mackie, participants Muniira and Adam, and Sid Gordon

Rapp UK has teamed up with charity Centrepoint and education specialist Creative Pioneers to create The Ready Initiative, an annual apprenticeship scheme aimed at formerly homeless youth.

The agency spoke with government legislation advisors and Cardiff University professors who specialise in youth housing, homelessness and pathways for vulnerable people to gauge how The Ready Initiative could create lasting opportunities.

Every year, with the guidance of Centrepoint, Rapp will take on board a group of prospective apprentices, who will be set a creative brief. Those subsequently shortlisted will be given a three-week placement that will see them work across different parts of the agency's creative department, before giving a presentation about what they have learned. One candidate will win a place on the apprenticeship scheme, while the others will be given career advice and support.

For this year's debut, Rapp has recently shortlisted three candidates, two of whom (Muniira and Adam) opted to accept the three-week placement, which has just begun.

The winner will be enrolled on a course spending a day each week learning about art direction, copywriting, video production, social media, blogging and content creation.

The apprenticeship will last 15 months and include working on briefs, the support of a mentor network, an agency starting salary and the same benefits as other full-time employees.

The scheme was designed to give apprentices creative jobs not just in advertising but in other industries, with The Ready Initiative deliberately devised as an open platform. Rapp and its partners are inviting other organisations to replicate it within their own business.

Sid Gordon, Rapp UK's creative director, said: "We actively seek out those who bring fresh ideas and new perspectives. Yet, people from difficult backgrounds don’t get the same opportunities as others to work in our industry, which means we’re missing a big trick.

"There’s an untapped talent pool out there full of life experience, who with the right coaching and support have every chance to thrive and succeed. We’re confident The Ready Initiative will give them that chance."

According to Centrepoint's data, 100,000 young people in the UK ask for help with homelessness every year. Those who escape life on the streets often find it hard to get jobs and many end up in manual or service-led roles.